Day one was for rest and food. I watched cable TV (and was reminded why I don’t have a TV), ate delivery pizza and salad, ate again from Dennys next door. Did laundry, bathed a few times. Was horizontal.
Day two was for errands. I had a pile of things I didn’t need anymore, and as this was my first opportunity to visit a post office on the trip, I was able to unload a couple pounds of gear from my pack. I had also broken my hiking pole on the last day into La Grande, so wanted to visit the Blue Mountain Outfitters and see about a replacement. Then resupply. I was very excited at the opportunity to buy whatever food I wanted for the next five days. Thus far my resupply had been prepackaged boxes of food I had sent myself before the hike began. In reality what that looked like was the same food almost every day so far…bulk buying made a lot of sense when I was looking to pack food for a month out here, but I could have done a better job of giving myself a little more variety. I was ready to mix it up a bit before picking up my last resupply box in the next town stop of Sumpter.
Back to the hotel to chill a bit before dinner. The folks at the Greater Hells Canyon Council have really gone out of their way to support and fete me on this hike, and tonight board member Charlie Jones had invited me over for a backyard dinner, complete with a cozy fire and hot toddys. Charlie and his wife Emily were fabulous hosts, and I also got to meet their good friends Cilla and Kent who had been Peace Corps volunteers in Africa too, and were very avid backpackers. I was so lucky to have all that local trail knowledge, and we discussed what I had hiked so far, and what I will hike. These people don’t get any better!
Charlie brought out a mouth watering dinner of chicken/leek/mushroom/spinach crepes with Béchamel sauce and gruyere (OMG!). Cilla had made a salad 100% out of her garden (fresh food!). I was spoiled.
We made plans for the morning; both Charlie and Kent were interested in walking with me for a bit as I headed out of La Grande and towards my next mountain range: the Elkhorns. I can’t wait for the Elkhorns. There is a 20-mile crest trail through this craggy granite mountain range, I would be back up at elevations around 8,000 feet…and with some snow on the way it was sure to be an eventful week of walking.